Guns and Gear

Concealed Carry Corner: Polymer versus Metal Compact Handguns

Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week, we discussed the difference between practical and tactical carry bags. If you happened to miss that article, click the link here to catch up on last week’s article. This week, I wanted to talk about the increase in full-metal construction handguns on the market over the last few years. While heavier carry guns do offer a few advantages, they are by no means perfect. Let’s take a closer look at some of these new models and differences when it comes to polymer versus metal compact handguns.

Concealed Carry Corner @ TFB:

Metal-Framed Guns

In the last couple of years, there has been an explosion in smaller metal-framed handguns. These types of handguns offer great balance in the hand as well as more controllability when firing from the extra weight in the frame. Having a slightly heavier frame will reduce muzzle rise and make for a more enjoyable shooting experience overall. Typically, metal-framed handguns have a slightly better balance in the hand than polymer handguns because of the added weight in the bottom half of the pistol.

Depending on the polymer handgun model, they can sometimes be extremely top-heavy which adds to felt recoil as well as muzzle rise. Where metal framed pistols differ is the extra bottom end weight that fixes the felt recoil issue. This added comfort when shooting comes at a heavy price though from the extra weight. When it comes to carrying a concealed firearm, weight is the biggest enemy of comfortable carry. Of course with the proper belt and holster, they can be very comfortable to carry on a daily basis. Not everyone wants to buy a special belt or quality holster so metal-framed pistols aren’t a good choice for everyone.

Companies like Wilson Combat, Dan Wesson, CZ, and others have all come out with factory high-end metal-framed 9mm carry pistols all costing roughly $1,500-2,500. All of these handguns have a capacity of 15 rounds with the Dan Wesson and CZ using magazines from the CZ P01. Recently, I wrote up a review of my impressions on the Dan Wesson DWX which is one of the newer style metal framed pistols we are talking about so if you’re interested be sure to check that out as well. These new metal-framed pistols may be heavier than typical concealed carry handguns, but they certainly have improved ergonomics when it comes to shooting and overall feel.

Polymer Guns

Polymer handguns are the gold standard when it comes to concealed carry handguns. With the perfect combination of weight and capacity, it’s hard to argue with certain polymer handguns like the Glock 48 and the well-known Glock 19. Firearms like the Glock 48 and SIG P365 XL offer a higher capacity while remaining compact where it’s not a pain to carry all day comfortably. For most people reading these articles, their carry gun will almost always be polymer instead of metal since the majority of mainstream handguns are polymer framed.

This can be boiled down to weight, cost, and ease of manufacturing. Having high-strength polymer not only allows manufacturers to keep the cost low for the end users but also lets them push more products out the door. Glock was one of the pioneers of polymer-framed pistols and other companies followed suit. The biggest positive when it comes to “wonder 9s” is the fact polymer frames are extremely durable while keeping things lightweight and affordable.

What’s Best For You?

So the big debate when it comes to purchasing a new gun to carry is polymer or metal framed? There are a number of factors to consider. One of the first factors we need to talk about is price. The metal-framed pistols are considerably more expensive than the polymer-framed alternatives. Those of you who like carrying handguns that are hard to obtain will love the metal-framed variants. Honestly, though, the vast majority of people will go with polymer-framed pistols. The DWX and CZ Shadow 2 Compact both are head turners because of their rarity compared to polymer options.

Another factor to consider is most of the metal-framed guns coming out of the factory also will have manual safety. When I carry a handgun for self-defense, I tend to pick options where I don’t need to worry about a manual safety. Companies are also making metal replacement frames for the P365 line of handguns to have the best of both worlds.

Overall Thoughts

People will continue to argue whether polymer or metal-framed handguns are a better option for carrying daily. From my experience, polymer handguns will do almost everything as metal-framed guns while allowing people to save a considerable amount of money for training and ammo. If you’re a very good shooter and go often, the extra bit metal framed handguns offer may start to show for certain individuals but the vast majority of people will do fantastically with a simple poylmer pistol.

Let me know your thoughts down below. Would you agree something like a Glock 48 or SIG P365 would be just as effective in most situations compared to something higher-end? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have a question about carrying guns or firearms in general, don’t be afraid to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you back next week for another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.


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